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East Londonderry

By Donna Deeney

East Londonderry is unlikely to provide a headline grabbing moment in this election but with 15 candidates hoping to secure one of the five available seats it will be interesting to see who the winners and losers are.

The DUP's vote was up in May 2016 when Maurice Bradley and George Robinson were elected after the first count joined later by Adrian McQuillan but the RHI scandal could impact on their three seats.

The bulk of the candidates from TUV's Jordan Armstrong, PUP's Russell Watton, Chris McCaw for Alliance and William McCandless (UUP) will be hoping anger at the "cash for ash" debacle will bring an increase in their votes.

Independent Claire Sugden had considered not standing at all, so incensed was she over the behaviour of other parties in the Assembly.

With one seat less up for grabs she could depend on transfers from across the political divide to get back to the Assembly.

Gerry Mullan, elected for the SDLP in May 2016 is standing as an independent after a bitter fall out with the party over the selection of John Dallat as its candidate.

A split in the nationalist vote could cost both him and the SDLP the seat.

Sinn Fein have fielded the same two candidates in Caoimhe Archibald and Cathal ohOisin despite only Archibald being elected last time. They have looked carefully at vote management but only time will tell if their efforts have paid off.

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